Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday night

I've got a beer for Saturday night.  Been awhile since I last had one so I figure, hey, why not?  At least I can just go out and get one... not like Ontario.  Just heard that LCBO has set a strike date of June 24th.  Y'all better stock up!  One more reason why I love living in Montreal.

So why do I have this Bridget Jones feeling?  I just spoke with Emile and he has informed me that he has a new girlfriend.  I know I just wasn't that into him but how is it possible that this little weird guy can find someone to date and I sit here with my beer on a Saturday night?  If anyone has the answer to that question, I'd really like to know.  Then I have to wonder, am I even date material with no job and having to rely on welfare to pay for my lone beer?  I can see it now... "Hi, I'm Athena.  I live alone and I am not gainfully employed.  I can't afford to date unless we do something that costs nothing.  I used to think that I found my life's purpose but now I'm not so sure.  I might be a bit of a hot mess however I still look good." Perhaps not.

I get my welfare cheque on Monday.  Happy days!  I can buy a bus pass and groceries.  I may even pop down to Simons to get myself a cheer-up gift.  I can pay half the rent (half is better than none).  What happens next?  Chrissakes, I wish I knew.  I can't help but wonder if life is a constant conundrum... like every day is a season finale and you have to wait for weeks on end to find out what happened to your favourite character.  All my attempts to rewrite the plot have failed.

Guess all I can do on this Saturday night is just to continue searching for that elusive a-ha moment... when everything comes together -life calling, someone to talk and share with... I'm sure there's clues all around and I have yet to put them together.  From here on out Athena is on the case.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

it is time

Funny is this thing called life.  Got a letter in the mail today stating that the TESL course (read: my life's next destination) is cancelled.  I did have a funny feeling about it for some time now and of course, fear has reared its ugly head.  To top it all off, EI is also a no go as I was missing 120 minutes of work to qualify.  Go Liberals & EI reform!!

Here I am at a crossroads of sorts.  I could reapply for the dole again and see what happens, I could get a whatever job or I could win the lottery.  Yes, the lottery is a possibility.  Anything is possible in Athena's World.   

Now, more than ever, I have to learn to let go.  There are forces at work out there that are beyond me and I don't seem to want to allow them to do their thing.  If I'm not in some way doing something about it then I'm not satisfied; I feel like I could've done more.  Starting today, I'm going to do just that.  My life, as it stands now, is in the hands of an entity other than myself.  

Saturday, May 23, 2009

they done did it now

Third time's a charm, kids.  Luciana was supposed to visit this weekend and despite my efforts to contact her, she's a no-show.  What the hell is up with this?  Am I not worth the trip?  Of course, this rant is not directed towards Briony as she did come for New Years.  

I'm beginning to wonder if I am a friend of little or no consequence.  After all, it's just Athena - always broke, unemployed and generally not much fun.  Bah.  No wonder I've taken a very pro-Athena stance over the last year or so.  I am a very selfish person these days.  I look out for my own interests since it appears everyone else only worries about themselves.  Sure, I lack family and a significant other but it doesn't mean that I'm not worthy of companionship.  Either way, I gotta find ways to amuse myself since it's going to be another quiet weekend.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

plastic, plastic, everywhere

If I don't comment on this latest bit of absurdity I think I might burst.

Apparently the Canadian Plastics Industry Association has conducted a study on reusable bags concluding that these bags carry a lot of bacteria and could cause severe illness.  "...single use bags... are the most safest and sanitary options."

Not only is this a load of hooey, it's a desperate attempt to convince consumers to stick to using plastic bags regardless of the harm it does to our planet.  The Canadian Plastics Industry Association wants you to stop using reusable bags so they can get their profits back on track.  Plus they're using bacteria as a means to scare us back into using plastic bags, even though a lot of stores are starting to charge five cents per bag in order to reduce consumption.   

Listen up kids - Athena is about to get back up on her soapbox.  Heed not the words of this preposterous study.  The best way to fight bacteria on your reusable bags is to (survey says) wash them.  Just like your damn hands.  Any healthcare expert will tell you that the best way to fight bacteria of any sort is to WASH with soap and water.  End of.


Funny how things turn out, eh?  I reconnected with my friend Marcel and he's planning to come visit in July... really.  He even sent me some cash!  May the Sun shine down on him.

So I'm downtown running a few errands and just as Providence would have it, I run into Emile and what appears to be his new lady friend.  No word of a lie, I damn near burst out laughing as when I saw him I thought to myself, Self, I think I miss this little bugger's company.  He seemed happy to see me and he introduced me to his lady friend (her name escapes me already so let's call her Susie).  Susie was about three apples high which made me snicker, possibly out loud.  

I'd been wanting to say thank you to Emile for inspiring me to teach English and now I have.  He was happy for me and told me he had friends who would be very interested in taking lessons from me once my certification was finalized.  I was just about to take the metro so I asked them if they were going in the same direction and Susie grabbed her man as if to tell me to get my own sandwich so I left them on the platform and said my farewells.  I had the hardest time holding back my laughter all the way home!  Either way, I see why I haven't heard from him in a few weeks... and her name is Susie.  I'm happy that Emile found someone to woo other than me.  I'm sure Susie is a lovely girl however I hope she knows that Emile wasn't man enough for me.

Yesterday I felt down - more down than I've been in the last little while.  Today I have a renewed sense of hope... everything is going to be OK.  I'm gonna teach English and really enjoy making a difference in people's lives.  Best of all, money will come... hopefully in the form of tonight's Lotto 649.  What would I do with $49 million?  Oh, snap.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

life as footy

Sometimes I find myself comparing life to football.  Think about it...

The referee is higher power.  Refs make sure things go well and everyone plays fair.  Refs enforce the rules and hand out penalties when the other team tries to take advantage.  Every so often the referee makes a bad call.  What happens then?  We boo, we protest, we lose faith in the referee's ability to ascertain right from wrong.  Then the ref makes a call in our favour and we're off again with a renewed sense of faith.

Our team - the home team - is the underdog.  Playing in front of a home crowd of friends, fans and family sometimes proves to be a challenge.  There is a constant desire to do right by everyone by playing at a high level.  No matter what happens on the pitch, it seems like the people in the stands are always coming or going.  They leave to go watch a better team and never return.  They leave to go get a pint and a hot dog.  They are just there for the sake of being there.  Of course, you expect your loved ones to be in the best seats in the house but in my case, those seats are empty.  I just scored the goal of my life and only the loyal true fans were there to see it.  Guess my so-called loved ones'll just have to watch the highlight reels.

Wouldn't it be great if the home team never had to leave home?  Of course.  The fans wouldn't have to go anywhere.  It's convenient for them however the home team has to experience life on the road.  Next comes the true test: the true fans will rise to the forefront.  True fans follow the goings-on of their favourite team no matter where they go or what they do.  Away games are tough - unfamiliar faces, unusual surrounds and a general feeling of displacement.  The beds aren't as soft as home, the food tastes slightly different.  Road trips are sometimes good to expand the horizons and there comes a time where maybe it's time to think about a trade to another team.  Sure, the true fans will always be there yet it doesn't hurt to make new ones.

There are times where I wish I could give out cautions, bookings and fouls.  Many times I've sent people off with a red card because their behaviour was no longer acceptable to continue in the match.   People with cautions don't always like the fact that they've been cautioned because if they get one more yellow card, they'll earn an automatic suspension.  Even though the referee is there to enforce the rules, some players feel they are above them and persistently do what suits them best... after all, isn't everyone a someone?  Too bad for them the referee is always watching.

My life right now is in the off-season.  I've won at home and on the road.  I've been traded to another town where surprisingly enough, I feel more at home than I ever have in my career.  I've been slide-tackled, fouled and booked for what seemed to be no apparent reason.  After a interesting season, it's time to start over.  My team is rebuilding with a new focus.  Sometimes I can't afford to purchase what I need though I'm confident corporate sponsorships will prove to be fruitful.  All in all, next season is going be the best ever.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

mass reproduction

I got a letter from welfare saying there was something wrong with my dole application.  I called Service Canada and it turns out that for the last two months, some halfwit didn't realize that the ROE I submitted was actually the correct one thus holding up my file.  I told the bloke on the phone that the company I work for has their head offices outside Quebec.  "Oh," he says.  Then he put me on hold.  Finally I got word that my claim will be finalized by Friday and someone is supposed to call me.  Very well then.  (crisse)

In order to work for Service Canada, you must either be a halfwit or a puppy maker.  Yeah, I said it.  Obviously there is no shortage of puppy making at Service Canada.  Really now - how long does it take to process these claims?  Maybe the 200 puppy makers they brought back weren't making enough puppies.  Better yet, they could have been told to increase their puppy production as the Liberals are threatening non-confidence over EI reform.  

I really, really could use that dough.  I'm down to eating 2 meals a day because I'm running out of food.  I've got bills to pay.  Plus it would be nice to treat myself to something, you know?  It's a toss up between a kettlebell and a bike.  Hell, I could get both!  Nevertheless, it would be comforting to know that this time is almost over and I can once and for all move on with the next chapter.

Friday, May 8, 2009

ho hum

It's Friday night and there's a lovely full moon in the sky.

Uh... it's gone.   What the hell?

Okay... so it's behind a cloud.

Yup, I'm bored.  It's gonna be a quiet weekend.  I'm so bored that even hanging out with Emile the Little Dude wouldn't be so bad because he's a good source of amusement.  

When I was a kid my parents would tell me to go read a book.  I would finish a novel and say, now what?  Of course they didn't like my backtalk but I did do what they told me.  Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.

I could watch TV.  I could eat but then I'd blow up.  I have been eating more than normal lately (Athena is not knocked up) so I'm sure it's a parasite.  One would think that a parasite would feast on body fat instead of vital nutrients...  only in a perfect world.

Just because it's the weekend and I feel like it, here's my two cents on life as I see it around me:
  • Lily Allen was told to get a boob job if she wanted to make it in the US of A.  I am a fan of her music - full stop.  Obviously she had to have some semblance of talent else she wouldn't be so popular.  Looks like our neighbours to the south love them some teats.
  • I filled out my EI report today.  At the end of it there was a blurb about how I have to fill out my next report on time so as not to lose benefits.  What benefits?!  Do they live in another plane of existence?!  Perhaps I'm receiving EI in a past life.
  • Manure United need 7 points to clinch the Premier League title.  Go Man City!
  • Jim Balsillie wants to buy a hockey team and move it to Southern Ontario.  Poor Jimmy B... everyone's raining on his parade.  No one seems to want him to play in the sandbox!  Guess this means the toilet-like state of the economy is over since he's got hundreds of millions to piss away.  Jim, homes, listen to Athena.  Stick to CrackBerries and other kernels of the like.
  • Betcha didn't know I wanna see Star Trek.  Seriously!  Simon Pegg is a great comedic actor and Chris Pine is so fine.  Yes, I rhymed that on purpose.
  • Santa Barbara is on fire.  I sincerely hope this time around that 12 year old kid who admitted to setting the last fire isn't behind this one.
Now I shall bid you good night as I'm starting to feel sleepy.    

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I am coruscating Planet Earth

I am on fire, kids.  Not the fires of hell like Aunt Marion thinks is going to be my final resting place.

Turns out Aunt Marion didn't send all of the money via Western Union.  Jesus wouldn't stiff me like that.  I'm shaking my head as I write this as she always purports to be a Christian.  When Jesus was allegedly feeding the masses with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish he didn't say, 'Yo, I'ma keep the 2 fish for myself and y'all can divvy up the rest'... of course not?  How is it that I, a heliolater, can see this immodest behaviour??  No wonder I don't have good relations with my family - I don't have the crackhead gene.  Next time I speak with Aunt Marion and she asks me one more blasted time if I've prayed, she's going to feel the wrath of Athena.  I'm a grown woman.  No one tells me what to do unless they exhibit higher power.

Now I've got this fire in me... deep down in my soul.  It started out as a hot spot that didn't know where to go.  Then slowly it connected with the air and it began to burn.  It's using the past as kindling.  As I move forward and I look deep inside myself, it's like I'm adding another log to the fire.  Being abandoned by my family - drop.  Past employers telling me I'm not good enough - drop.  Finding out who my real friends are - drop.   I've come to a point where the future looks bright and that's because the future is being lit by the fire. My fire... or should I say fi-yah?  Heh heh heh.

I sent off my deposit for my TESL course today.  It's going to give me a tool to see the world.  Talking to my friend Moira who went to Turkey last year to teach English made me see that I too can do the same thing.  Guess what?  I wanna go to Spain!  Que viva Espana!!

Lately I've been thinking about 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

lamb chops & BBQ ribs

I just got off the phone with my Aunt Marion.  Remember that amazing story about the man who gave me a benjamin around my birthday?  I still haven't received it yet because she's worried about the cost of sending it.  For the record, I'm in Montreal, not Novosibirsk.

So then she says to me, why are you crying?  I started crying because I don't see any reason as to why she's holding onto that money.  I need that money.  Things need to get rolling but essentially she's holding up progress with frustrates me to no end.  Aunt Marion says I need to get a Bible and have a relationship with God.  Keep in mind her 'God' is not the one I worship.  I am a heliolater.  An agnostic.  I do not spout Jesus this & Jesus that every second I get.  Nor am I one to force it down people's throats.  She's totally forcing this 'relationship' business down my throat and it drives me nuts.  Finally I told her flat out that my so-called relationship and hers were two different things and she's just going to have to respect that.

Why do Jesus freaks act like this?  Aunt Marion actually said that I would end up in hell or have a bad life.  Seriously??  I've done pretty well so far up till now.  Sure, I drink sometimes and I have tried drugs but in all honestly I've had a tame life up to this point.  I'm not a bad person.  I don't know what I have to do or say to Aunt Marion to get this through her head.  I have read the Bible.  It's an X-rated book filled with tales of bloodshed, babydaddies and a guy who just won't shut up.  I really don't believe what the Bible says.  There are other texts in this world that people lay down their lives for and they think that what they believe is right, so good for them.  Who am I to say otherwise?  

Betcha ten pennies Aunt Marion is praying right now that I cross over to the dark side and I don't end up a perfectly roasted rack of lamb.  I appreciate her prayers.  If that's what gets her through the day then so be it.  

What she doesn't see is that my future looks bright.  I have opportunities that have never been presented to me before.  I actually feel good about what's in store for me which is a first in this lifetime.  I could even be in Europe this time next year.  Who did all that?  The powers that be, that's who.  Yeah, that's right.  Higher blasted power.  

Monday, May 4, 2009

Athena says... wash your damn hands!

Listen up, folks!  The government should not be telling you to wash your blanking hands!!?!??!

This website gives step-by-step instructions on how to wash your damn hands.  

Seriously??? SERIOUSLY!!!  You learn this jazz in kindergarten!

Taxpayers' dollars have been spent on creating this information!!!

No wonder people are getting sick!  You know who you are!


the times

Great news, kids!  Athena has figured out the next chapter of her life!  Athena is going to teach English and she has Emile the Little Dude to thank. 

Emile wanted me to help him with his English and I really enjoyed our conversations.  He told me that there is a real demand for people wanting to learn English.  I found that pretty interesting as new immigrants must learn French as per the Quebec government.  So I Googled ESL and found all kinds of prospects.  I can teach here on the island or I could go abroad.  A few days later I had a chat with my Aunt Marion and she convinced me to check it out.  Off I went to a TESL information session and I was hooked.  I knew right then and there that this is what I want to do!

Do you know what it's like to finally feel like I have a purpose other than waiting for government cheese?  I feel elated.  The future is actually within reach except for one small detail: money.

Dough.  Pesos. Gravy.  Loot.  Benjamins.  Bones.  Quid.  Bobs.  Chrissakes.
I need $ to register for the TESL course.  I need $ to go to Quebec City for an interview to teach English in the fall.  I need $ to eat.  I need $ to pay bills.  I need $ to get around town.  Now I hear that the federal Liberals are pushing for EI reform; so much so that it might force an election.  I will vote for anyone who will speed up this archaic process because 3 blasted months is sheer lunacy!

The times will change because I've changed.  I look to the future with great anticipation yet I am vexed that there is nothing I can do to hurry up the process of receiving money. I have learned to let go - that part is in the hands of the Sun.

Friday, May 1, 2009

mayday, mayday, mayday

It's scary out there these days.  I continue to shake my head at the swine flu outbreak as it continues to spread.  I know there are people out there who do not wash their damn hands after they use the toilet so to those I say, 'it's all your fault'!  About 11 years ago I had the flu for about a week.  I got it from one of my roommates at the time who got it from somebody or other.  Icky.  There's no need to walk around with a mask on, people.  Any public health service will tell you the best way to prevent infection is to wash your damn hands.  

Now Chrysler has gone belly-up and my homey D-Mac is leading the charge to use 2.9 billion bones of tax dollars to buy this gas-guzzling car maker.  Why?  D-Mac wants to keep Chrysler plants operating in Ontario.  So peep this - Chrysler keeps pumping out these elephantine vehicles that suck gas like a fat kid on Smarties.  Since these beasts need copious amounts of gas, the oil companies are happy because these beasts'll suckle them like a sow & piglets, despite the market turning towards smaller & fuel-efficient vehicles. Oil companies are happy because they continue to reap profits.  Hence - this is all about the benjamins.  Cash is king.  All hail the King!

All of this is making me feel a little uneasy to be honest.  I just want my piece of the government pie, you know?  I've been waiting 3 months for the dole whilst living on less than $600 a month.   Funny how us little people have to wait for help while Chrysler the White Elephant gets all the attention.  

I have learned to let go and let the Divine take care of it all.  I'll be back.